Grahame Garner captures Labour Day through the eye of a lens

During the 1960s, community activist, Grahame Garner photographed many of the Labour Day (also known as  May Day) marches in Brisbane. Labour Day is an annual event when we remember the Australian Labour Day movement, where Australians sought better working conditions.

The first Australian Labour Day march occurred in Melbourne 21 April 1856, when stonemasons and builders around various work sites stopped work and marched from the University of Melbourne to Parliament. Their successful protest led to the eight hour working day.

While Labour Day is commemorated on different dates in different states, the day is celebrated with a march. It is a time when unions, community groups and public can voice their concerns on various political topics. The Grahame Garner collection documents key social issues of 60s Queensland, including equal payconscription and the war in Vietnam, and constitutional rights for Indigenous Australians.

The Fryer Library holds over 900 of Grahame’s photographs (F3400). This selection provides an insight into the Brisbane march, fifty years ago.

You can explore more of Grahame’s images on UQ eSpace.

Last updated:
13 December 2019